Training for basketball players becomes perfect if done correctly; you achieve nothing if done wrong. A five-hour shooting drill with a lousy technique makes a terrible shooter and wastes effort.
A daily practice of three to four hours seems daunting, but the intensity you put into training pays off with your performance come game time.
Check out this material we prepared about basketball practice and how it will help you become a better player.
The Importance of Practice in Basketball
Constant practice makes you better at whatever you do, whether it’s basketball, baseball, football, playing music, or preparing for an exam.
Starting on something new is complex; the ball might not reach the basketball hoop in your first shot. Playing more and practicing your jump shots and layups will get you better. Even the NBA greats never stop trying to improve their game.
Steph Curry is not content with 1,000 practice shots a day. Curry included technology in his crazy routine for precision. A shot counts if the ball hits the middle of the hoop, and it’s a bad shot if it touches any part of the rim, even if the ball went in.
Practice cannot determine the outcome of a basketeer’s efforts, but we cannot disregard its importance. Training for players builds basketball competence, insight, self-confidence, and accuracy.
Accepting weaknesses in your game and finding ways to correct them is a step towards turning them into strengths. Constant practice improves your game. Basketball is about the shooting, dribbling, and passing.
Shooters are go-to guys for points; you don’t want to get blocked or miss a lot. Check your posture; knees bent before the takeoff, body and hands are straight up in the air, and release the ball with fingers controlling the trajectory. Be picky with your shot selection; go for high percentage shots. Why shoot a trey when you can drive to the basket for a deuce?
If you practice a lot of dribbling drills, your ballhandling skills can be a potent offensive weapon. Use your right and left hand to dribble in and out of your legs in a figure 8 progression. Run the entire court with both hands dribbling balls.
Kyrie Irving is a master of the dribble. Irving will dribble the ball like playing with a yoyo confusing the defender, and drive to the hoop or a step-back for a deuce.
Passing is a skill that moves the ball to teammates quickly. The passer must be precise for teammates to reach the ball on time and at the right spot. Go for easy passes; getting tricky might result in turnovers. Thumbs should point down with follow-through for the proper backspin when passing; otherwise, the ball will be hard to catch.
Communication with teammates is essential; eye contact, facial expressions, or body movements are ways to execute plays.
Constant practice develops a basketeer’s competency. The athlete’s mind is conditioned that their body automatically executes plays without thinking about it. Elite athletes store a record of mental movements through practice and playing so that when a familiar game situation happens, they run plays that they know best.
NBA players have performed in many games and practiced knowing the sport inside out. Elite players can read the field and can anticipate what comes next. An athlete that has gained experience through playing and drills reacts more quickly in game situations.
Ja Morant studies the defense, drives to the hoop, and when defenders crowd him, his
instinct is to dish out to an open teammate.
How Often Do Basketball Players Practice?
No two players are alike and have different needs and goals regarding their skills and understanding of the sport. An aspiring NBA player must train a lot, pick up players enjoying basketball with friends, train whenever they want, and young kids practice improving their game, depending on their age.
Training for 1.5 to 2 hours daily is sufficient to develop basketball skills and know-how, but you won’t be the best. Ballers who want it more spend 2 to 4 hours daily, including playing and drills.
Beginners adjust to the new regimen and practice less due to the intensity of workouts and strains on the body. Through constant training, they’ll adapt to the exercises and perform drills quickly.
If practice is inconsistent, don’t expect your basketball performance to improve. Ten hours of training done only once a week gives no results, but an hour of practice daily will put you on the next level.
Basketball practice is daunting but planning with the right mindset makes hard easy. Here are some tips that touch on the different aspects of basketball to make your practices effective.
Set Your Goals
Set your goals before you get into serious practice. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to be a better shooter or ballhandler?
Once your goals are set, list down things that block your goals and how to overcome these obstacles. Goals help you achieve meaningful things even in tough times. Without goals, you’ll end up lost.
Monitor Your Progress
Tracking your progress will show the fruits of your practice. If your target shooting clip is 7 of 10 shots and you’re only making one, it’s back to the drawing board. There might be something wrong with your release, stance, or takeoff. Don’t get discouraged; take this as an opportunity to improve.
Focus on the Basics
Basketball is about dribbling, shooting, and passing.
Shooters are point makers, which is essential in basketball. Check the position of your feet, your shooting arm should make an L, elbow above your eyes, and the fingers push the ball.
Dribbling drills are part of an NBA player’s daily routine and are considered an offensive weapon. Skilled dribblers confuse the defensive player by shifting the ball from the left to the right hand, between the legs, crossover, and behind the back, then driving to the hoop or a step back two.
Accurate passing impacts the movement and effectiveness of offensive plays. Bounce passes can be more easily retrieved by teammates than chest passes on low post plays.
Play the Game
Bring your acquired skills to the hardwood by playing the game. Check if you’ve developed the skills you want, and correct errors through drills.
Daily practice is better than pouring 12 hours of training in one day. Consistency defines your success and not the length of time in practice.
Of course, don’t expect to see progress in the initial stages of practice; the results will come naturally if you continuously train.
What Do Basketball Players Do During Practice?
Training is vital in any sport. The things a player learns in practice reflect his performance on the hard court. What you see on the court is the result of preparation; you might wonder what happens behind the scenes.
Professional and amateur ballers do warm-up exercises to prepare them physically and mentally for the game. Stretching exercises and arm swings raise the heart rate and condition the muscles.
Improve the Basics
A practice session is an opportunity to develop your basic skills in dribbling, passing, and shooting. Make the best of it; the coaching staff will give you pointers and practice them until you’ve developed the skill.
Communicating among teammates is essential. Eye contact, body movements, or facial expressions will signal how the play will be executed.
Players will be asked to run the entire court distance, dribbling the ball many times. Use the right hand in one direction and the left when you return. Speed dribble and run at a fast pace, you’ll get tired, but you’ll improve your body’s condition and dribbling skills.
There’s no letter I in the word team, basketball involves teamwork. After the workout, spend time with your teammates, get to know them better, and give words of encouragement. These initiatives develop team spirit and boost morale fostering teamwork.
Do NBA Players Practice Every day?
The greatness of NBA players didn’t happen overnight; their desire for excellence started when they were kids, and practice was the key to fulfilling their dream.
Basketball pundits say that NBA players practice 2 to 4 hours daily during the in-season and more practice hours in the off-season. The practice includes drills, execution of plays, scrimmages, and coaching lessons. The two to four hours spent on the hard court is only part of the story.
After practice, players go through physical treatments, conditioning, film reviews, and bonding with teammates to develop team chemistry. Considering all these basketball activities, an NBA player spends about five hours daily at the facility.
The great ones like ‘His Airness” Michael Jordan squeezed in five hours of daily practice while filming Space Jam requiring 12 hours of daily work, six days a week. The “Black Mamba’s” unique 666 workout involves Bryant performing six hours of drills six times a week for six months during the off-season.
How Many Days a Week Do NBA Players Workout?
Practice among NBA players is part of their daily routine; a day isn’t complete if they haven’t trained.
During the regular season, NBA teams must play 82 games, excluding playoffs, about two to four games a week. Players have less time to practice, and more time spent in strength training sessions, game reviews, rest, and recovery. NBA players train five days a week, and the elite players pitch more training days.
NBA players need to rest to allow their bodies to recover from the grueling activities on the hard court. The NBA adopted the load management policy allowing big-name players James, Doncic, Butler, and Jokic to have days off during the in-season while others play every game.
The NBA is a highly competitive league composed of the best basketeers in the world. They should always be at their best, so they must practice even when there’s a lull. Off-season preparation for NBA players varies; every player has their distinct goals to aim for. Most players devote five hours of practice six days a week and hire personal trainers and coaches to improve their physical conditioning and game for the regular season.
Workout time for King James starts at 5 am 5-7 days per week. To avoid boredom, he changes his routine and works the different muscles of his body. James’ favorite drills are the Versa Climber runs, Pilates, and flipping giant tires.
Ja Morant became an All-Star because of a tractor tire. Morant’s dad got a tractor tire for Ja to make 25 jumps on it after every drill.
Aside from the crazy shooting drill, Steph Curry sweats during the off-season dancing the Zumba, as seen on this YouTube video.
Wrapping Things Up: How Often Do Basketball Players Practice?
The league limited an NBA player’s daily routine during the in-season, teams are allowed
two-3 ½ hours practice sessions six days a week. Practice sessions during game days are not allowed. During the offseason, teams can practice up to six days a week and at least three practices per day.
Talent alone is not enough for NBA players to be the best; determination, hard work, and discipline make them who they are.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.